"Fairplay Fall" submitted by Linda Eshom
Many of you have shared beautiful photos of the changing colors throughout Colorado. Some areas are already in full color.
Here’s an update on Fall Colors from the US Forest Service:
San Isabel National Forest
Leadville: The entire Collegiate Peaks area is in full color. Suggested routes include Hwy 82 near Twin & Turquoise Lakes; Independence Pass; Tennessee Pass; Hwy 91; and Hwy 24 to Freemont Pass.
Salida: Aspens will show peak colors this weekend (Oct 1). Marshall Pass, Aspen Ridge, Chalk Creek Canyon to St. Elmo, Cottonwood Lake, Monarch Pass and Blanks Gulch are prime areas for aspen viewing.
San Carlos: About half of the leaves have turned in the Forest area west of Westcliffe, CO—visible along State Highway 69 south of U.S. Highway 50. In the Wet Mountains, including the Lake Isabel area along State Highway 165, Ophir Creek Forest Service Road 360 into Forest Service Road 369, as well as other Forest Service roads in this vicinity, about half of the leaves have turned although they have not peaked—the colors are mostly yellow, but are changing daily. The Cuchara/Spanish Peaks area reports the Highway of Legends is showing some beautiful changes with golden-colored leaves.
Pike National Forest
Pike: Suggested areas include HWY 67 south of Divide to Cripple Creek and along Gold Camp Road (County Road 8) from Cripple Creek to Colorado Springs. The colors are changing in the aspens other hardwoods and are anticipated to peak this weekend.
South Park: Leaves are changing fast, probably peaking this week. Prime areas include: Boreas Pass County Road 33 between Como & Breckenridge; Eleven Mile Canyon County Road 96 (this is a fee area $5 per vehicle); Weston Pass County Road 22; Buffalo Peaks area south of Fairplay; and Jefferson Lake Recreation Area County Road 37 (this is a fee area $5 per vehicle).
South Platte: Suggested routes include Kenosha Pass CR 285, and Guanella Pass CR 62.
Cimarron National Grasslands: Just a hint of purples and reds in the grasses on the east side of the Grassland. (West side is very dry.) Cottonwoods in the river corridor are beginning to turn yellow; willows at Middle Spring are turning yellow; and grasses on the west side have started to turn purple and red. Area is at approximately 30% of color change.
Comanche National Grasslands: No color changes reported at this time.
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